In a nostalgic twist, [ElectroBoy] has reimagined the iconic Arduino Uno as it might have been if released in 1980, using an 8051-based design. Departing from the ATmega328P/ATmega168 commonly found in modern Arduino Unos, this retro version features the AT89S52, a member of the MCS-51 (8051) family. Despite sharing 8-bit CPU and Harvard architecture similarities with the ATmega microcontrollers, the original MCS-51 is distinguished by its CISC CPU, providing a glimpse into an alternate computing history.
[ElectroBoy]’s Uno variant also diverges in terms of hardware. Sporting a USB type-C port, it incorporates a modern touch. However, it simplifies the design by omitting USB-UART, leading to the absence of USB programming. The pin layout is different from the conventional Arduino Uno, making it incompatible with Arduino shields. Additionally, it boasts more I/Os than ATmegas, adding to its unique retro appeal. Although not as practical as the contemporary Uno, this creation serves as a captivating homage for retrocomputing enthusiasts, blending the charm of 1980s technology with the familiarity of the Arduino platform.